Volume 63, Issue 1, June 2023

Americo Miranda
Pages 217-238

Infirmus loquor, infirmioribus loquor. Efficacia retorica e progresso spirituale nei discorsi al popolo di Agostino

The interaction between rhetoric and preaching is evident in St. Augustine in his sermons ad populum or sermons to his congregation. He expresses himself with care with the aim of achieving true spiritual progress in his hearers. Their reactions encourage him to make an attentive use of the rhetoric resources his authoritative experience has given him, and to exploit any possible means of raise his level of discourse. Signs of agreement from his congregation indicate an ongoing relationship with them. At any rate Augustine, in his preaching, is happy to make the best possible use of his rhetorical powers and leave the rest to God. The formation of a long-standing congregation requires him to go beyond customary limits so as to become a notable model of a Christian orator.

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